The Los Angeles Times Opinion LA blog posts, "Why mask the ugliness of executions? Bring back firing squads, judge says," by Scott Martelle.
These killings committed in our names are not pretty. This is brutality, pure and simple, and a brutality that serves no public interest, coming too long after the crime to serve as either punishment or deterrent. And the solution is not to speed up the process. As it is, a conservative estimate suggests an error rate of 4% in sentencing the innocent to death.
Recent polls have shown an erosion of public support for capital punishment, with one recording a slight majority of Americans now opposing it. Could it be that we’re slowly becoming a civilized nation? Could we be nearing the point at which we recognize the moral and ethical failure at the heart of giving our government the power to kill fellow citizens?
One can hope.
"Appeals court judge argues for return of firing squads," is by Arizona Republic columnist EJ Montini.
The chief judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has a suggestion to prevent legal challenges to lethal injection as a method of execution:
Bring back firing squads.
I am not making this up.
The Republic also publishes the news report, "High court clears Ariz. to execute inmate today," by Michael Kiefer.
In their motions for a stay of execution, Wood's attorneys cited a long history of transparency about executions, from the display of ropes used in hangings to information about the gas chamber that still sits across the viewing room from the lethal-injection chamber in the death house at the Florence prison.
In recent years, the federal defender's office has been battling the state over secrecy.
"The people of Arizona have decided that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment," said Dale Baich, a federal public defender. "They should equally decide that the death penalty cannot remain shrouded in secrecy that prevents ... the public, the courts and the condemned from knowing if executions are carried out in compliance with all state and federal laws," Baich said.
The argument will continue in U.S. District Court in an ongoing lawsuit.
But Wood will no longer be part of the argument.
"First Amendment fight won't stop Arizona execution," is the updated AP filing, via the San Francisco Chronicle.
Wood has one more last-ditch appeal for a stay of execution before the U.S. Supreme Court, Wood's attorney, Dale Baich said.
Earlier coverage of the Arizona case begins at the link.